The National Endowment for the Humanities, a United States government agency, has awarded a grant of $190,470 to Emeritus History Professor Gerard M. Koot at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to direct a Summer Seminar for School Teachers on 'The Dutch Republic and Britain: The Making of Modern Society and a World Economy.' The seminar will allow 16 teachers, chosen from a national competitive pool of applicants, to spend five weeks during the summer of 2011 in London, Belgium and The Netherlands studying and visiting historical sites related to the topic.
The seminar will investigate how a region of northwest Europe, centered on the North Sea, first developed an economy that produced sustainable growth in economic productivity and was able to provide an adequate and rising standard of living for much of its population. Participants will study how the economy of the Dutch Republic rose to preeminence in the new European world economy of the seventeenth century, how Britain acquired this supremacy in the eighteenth century, and how it transformed itself to become the first industrial nation. The seminar will meet at the Institute for Historical Research at the University of London for the first week and then at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in Wassenaar (near The Hague) for four weeks. NEH will provide a stipend of $3900 to each participant toward expenses. For an application and a full explanation of the seminar, go to: http://www1.umassd.edu/euro/
Professor Koot has been awarded a total of more than 1.4 million dollars in grants by NEH to direct fourteen Summer Seminar for Teachers, which has allowed over two hundred teachers to spend five weeks studying the origin and development of Europe's first modern economies. After holding the first two seminars at UMass Dartmouth, Koot moved the seminar to the campus of the University of Nottingham in the English Midlands in order to allow participants to visit the historical sites and museum exhibits of early industrialization. In 2005, he began offering a completely new seminar in order to emphasize that the origin of European economic growth was closely linked to its achievement of pre-eminence in world trade and naval power during the 17th and 18th centuries, and that the origin of the first industrial revolution, must be understood in a broader European and world-wide context that laid the foundation of our global economy.
After receiving his Ph.D. in 1972 from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, Professor Koot came to UMD, then SMU, as an Assistant Professor of modern European history. He was promoted to the rank of Professor in 1983 and Chancellor Professor in 1995. He was chosen as Chairperson of the Department in 1986 and served in this capacity until his retirement in 2010. He taught a wide variety of modern European history courses at UMD, published articles and reviews in scholarly journals on the history of economic thought. His book, English Historical Economics, 1870-1926, published by Cambridge University Press in 1988, was recently translated and published in China.